Unpacking Thoughts upon Arriving Home from Vacation

We’ve returned from vacation. Usually this means I am filled with renewed energy and focus. The first few days after a vacation tend to be the sort where I get a million things done and don’t feel tired. I want that. I want to throw myself whole heartedly into work projects and emerge from next week with all of them done. I love weeks like that. The trouble is the “whole hearted” part. I’m not sure I’ll have a whole heart this week. We’re still in the first steps of finding solutions for Gleek and each step in this process has taken a huge emotional toll for me. I think about that sometimes, not being sure whether the path we’re walking is actually difficult or if I’m over reacting. There are reasons to want both of those answers, but I’m not going to spin down that rabbit hole today. Instead I’m going to acknowledge the rabbit hole is there and understand that I’m trying to avoid several more just like it, which could explain why my arrival home did not immediately trigger a burst of happy-to-be-home energy.

I have lots of work lined up for next week. They are the sort of projects which invigorate me and that I enjoy completing. I’ve got copy edits to enter, layout tweaks for Body Politic, a quick Hugo packet layout to do for Random Access Memorabilia, the CobbleStones 2012 edits are due to come back, and there is lots of planning to do for the upcoming challenge coin shipping project. Current count is 30,000 coins to ship in over 3000 packages. It will be the largest shipping we have ever done. These things are exciting. They are interesting. I want to switch into high gear and dive into the work. I’m going to try, even though a large part of me is afraid that my work focus will be interrupted by calls from the school. I already know that I’m going on a field trip next Tuesday and have appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. I want a calm, focused, work week. Next week is not likely to be that week. I’m going to work anyway because the work needs to be done and deadlines loom.

A month from now things will have settled. We’ll be settled into the work of using therapy to change family patterns and to help Gleek restructure her thinking. Things will be more stable. I still mourn for the lost peace of this past month, for the work week I’m not likely to get next week, for the writing I’ve not done, for the little happy stories which slide past me un-noticed because my mind is occupied. To tell happy stories while I feel emotional chaos feels false, but to tell only the stressful things also is false. All of it is mixed up together and when I’m not sure what to say, I default to silence.

We’ve just returned from our annual four day vacation. It was the fourth such family vacation we’ve had and the first in which Howard was truly relaxed. This was our third year renting a condo in Moab and possibly the last because next year Kiki will be in college and we have yet to figure out whether “family vacation” means adjusting things so she can come or if it means those living under our roof. At some point she becomes a separate entity and household, but none of us knows yet when that will occur. We may change our vacation to be closer to Kiki’s chosen college, or we may change the timing. It has been lovely these past three years to have a familiar place to go. We’ll definitely return there again, even if not next year. My list of things I want to see in southern Utah keeps getting longer. These past three years I have learned to love red rocks and sharp blue sky. I’ve learned the textures of the desert. I’ve sat beside the condo swimming pool as my kids play and I look at the side of the mesa reaching skyward beside us. We’ve caught frogs and minnows in the pond and watched bats spin around the street lamp at night.

I list all of that and realize I am renewed. I have a challenging week ahead, but I think I can do this.